Jerryd “Black Hole” Bayless Continues To Boost The Milwaukee Bucks Outside Shooting

Dec 28, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless (19) dribbles the ball during the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks won 103-93. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless (19) dribbles the ball during the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks won 103-93. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Against all odds, Jerryd Bayless continues to boost the Milwaukee Bucks with tremendous outside shooting this season.

The Milwaukee Bucks soundly beat the Miami Heat in their building Tuesday night. Although Michael Carter-Williams started the game for Milwaukee, Jerryd Bayless led all point guards in minutes with nearly 30.

As he’s done all season, Bayless provided a steady hand shooting the basketball. Bayless made four of his seven shots against the Heat, all except one of which were three-point shots. He ended the night with 11 points, and more made threes than the rest of the Bucks combined.

He’s called the Black Hole by Marques Johnson (and now me) for a reason. Bayless himself did not argue with the term of endearment, and even said when asked about the new nickname that the team needs him to take those shots.

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He’s right. Aside from the 1/1 Johnny O’Bryant, Black Hole Bayless has been the best three-point shooter on the Bucks this season. He’s also taking a high volume of shots, with only Chris Copeland attempting more threes per 36 minutes than Bayless.

That high volume/high percentage mix is a beautiful thing, and not too many players can do it. Could Black Hole Bayless have a sixth man spot in his future, in a sort of J.R. Smith role? He’ll need to prove himself further to earn that reputation, but he’s off to a great start this season.

Right now there are only five players in the NBA that are making at least 5.5 threes per 36 minutes while also shooting at least 43 percent from beyond the arc: Patrick Beverley, Brandon Rush, J.J. Redick, Stephen Curry, and Jerryd Bayless.

Three of those players are currently full-time starters on playoff teams, and Brandon Rush has started 23 games in place of an injured Harrison Barnes. And then there’s Bayless, serving as sixth man for the lowly Milwaukee Bucks. Maybe not for long though.

If other teams start to notice how crazy efficient Bayless has been despite the high volume of shots he’s taking, he could have a lot of value at the trade deadline. A shooter in the same club as Redick and Curry, with a $3 million price tag? Any contender could find a way to fit him onto their books, and then have another dangerous shooter available from their bench.

Sure, the Bucks benefit greatly from Bayless too. But even if the playoff dream isn’t dead yet. it’s certainly on its last legs. Snagging a nice pick for Milwaukee’s Black Hole could really help down the road.

Even if he isn’t dealt, it’s getting tough to imagine Bayless sticking around in free agency. He’s going to be unrestricted this summer, and could potentially command a deal that pays him three times as much per year as he currently is.

If that sounds ridiculous, remember that Lou Williams is getting $7 million per season for his sixth man abilities. Lou Will may score more in bulk, but he’s not nearly the shooter Bayless is. With the Golden State Warriors proving jump shooting teams can win titles, teams are more interested in ever in efficient shooters.

1Jerryd Bayless2015-162675811.2.4365.7.4382.0.7913.
2Lou Williams2014-1580201616.6.4048.0.3407.1.8612.

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If a chucker like Williams was worth $21 million over three years to the Lakers, why couldn’t Bayless make $27 million over three years with a team that needs his outside touch like the Grizzlies, Bulls or Thunder?

Bayless has the advantage of also being able to run the point fairly effectively, meaning he can be used as a backup point guard or simply a sixth man shooter. There are teams that would love to have him on their bench, even if they did have to pay him.

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But if they didn’t, by getting him on this cheap deal at the deadline? That’s a huge boon to any playoff team. So despite how valuable he is to Milwaukee and how much he helps the Bucks, don’t be surprised to see Black Hole Bayless get dangled around in trade talks.

Unfortunately, the chances that Bayless is a part of the Milwaukee Bucks a year from now seem slim to none. Even if the team does decide he’s too valuable to be dealt before the deadline, his free agency destination probably won’t be Milwaukee.

Unless Bayless decided he likes the team and city enough to re-sign at an affordable price, that is. And that’s not out of the realm of possibility, although who could blame Bayless for really exploring his options this summer?

He’s earned his money through his great play this season, and deserves to cash in with some team in free agency.